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Advantages to Being First to File for Divorce

Sometimes a husband is completely blindsided when his wife files for divorce. More often, there have been warnings and both spouses realize that the end is near. Unfortunately, many men, often because they don’t want the divorce, delay speaking to a lawyer until forced because the other spouse filed.  

While we respect that a prospective client may not want file first because he doesn’t want the divorce, there are many financial and legal advantages to seeking legal advice and filing before your wife:

  1. You can have your divorce lawyer and team lined up.
  2. You can gather documents (financial and legal) that you will need before filing. Once a divorce is filed, spouses can get apprehensive about handing over documents to each other and often remove documents from the home.
  3. Ensure you are not locked out of the finances. Many times, a spouse can file and remove all of marital funds from joint accounts, leaving the other spouse penniless and unable to mount a defense when it comes time to separating those assets. What if you don’t have a credit card in your name and the joint cards have been canceled?
  4. Only the first to file can ask the court for what is called an “Ex Parte Order,” which is an ordered entered without the necessity of a hearing.  These initial orders can control many things including an order that can prevent the other spouse from moving assets around or require the marital bills to continue be paid throughout the case. The other side of this is that by filing first you may be able to prevent your wife from obtaining her own version of an Ex Parte Order that may be contrary to your interests. 
  5. If the spouses live in different counties, the first to file can control where the case will be filed.
  6. The Plaintiff (the first to file) in a divorce case has an advantage if the case goes to trial in that they will be the first to present their case to the judge;
  7. Finally, as the party filing the case, you will ensure that your lawyer is the one drafting the final Judgment of Divorce.  Having selected an experienced firm like ADAM, you will naturally want your lawyer in control of the drafting rather than having to “issue spot” and correct the work of another attorney.

There are ways to protect your interests if a divorce is imminent. Be smart.  Be prepared.  Know the law before you take action—or allow action to be taken against you.

About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)

The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child custody and parenting time, paternity, support, property settlement, post judgment modifications, and other family law matters. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising when representing their clients. A team of compassionate and skilled family law attorneys, ADAM is dedicated to being Michigan’s leading divorce lawyers for men and practices a policy of integrity in all dealings.